I Don’t Fit in the Unrealistic Beauty Standards, And That’s Okay!
In this Open Column submission, Miriam reminds us of the importance of ceasing the pursuit of unrealistic beauty standards—because there are another million things that are not less important than being pretty.
Words by Whiteboard Journal
I have come to accept that I’m far from being pretty. I don’t have fair white skin, long straight hair, nor a skinny body. I don’t and will never fit into society’s beauty standards, and that’s okay.
When my friends compliment my look and say that I look “pretty”, I know that it’s mostly because I was wearing my best clothes, or I put on some make-up, or the lighting was good, or I was shot from my best angles, or perhaps all of them combined.
When people say that I’m pretty, I know that it’s not really about the face. Rather, it was more of an I-look-better-than-usual kind of pretty.
I often wonder too, what it’s like to be pretty.
Like, how does it feel like to look in the mirror and be stared back at by a pretty face?
How does it feel like to be prioritized and adored simply because of how you look?
When my insecurities got very bad, I even wondered —if only I were born with a pretty face, perhaps my crush would love me back. Yes, it once got to that point.
However, I have embraced the fact that I look mediocre, and it’s not the end of life. I don’t need people’s assurance, at least not the toxic positivity that “we’re all beautiful in our own way”. Just accept that physically, some people don’t fall into the beauty standards that our society favors more.
Yes, we can’t enjoy the so-called beauty privilege,
yes, sometimes society treats us with such discrimination,
yes, life can get even tougher for ugly people.
However, being pretty is not all that we have to be. Instead, we can always try to be more knowledgeable, compassionate, empathetic, humble, funny, and other million things that are not less important than being pretty. We can still be better human beings without being pretty.
Beauty is only skin deep, anyway. For the people who truly love and care about us, it never really matters. And for the people who have always judged others based on how they look, we’ll never be enough anyway. They’ll always have something to say, and there will always be people who are prettier than us.
I don’t mean to discredit truly beautiful people out there, and I don’t want to argue that we should enjoy being mediocre because beauty comes with many drawbacks too. No. We don’t need to compare to make ourselves feel better.
What I want to say is to embrace our mediocre looks and love ourselves anyway. Let’s focus on our other qualities and virtues. You know what they say: beauty may attract, but our personality is what make people stay.
So, strive to be better every day for the people who have always stayed by our side through the ups and downs. Do it for the people who accepts our flaws and stood by our side even though we’re not pretty.
Let’s all become a better human beings because there are people who acknowledge us for our talents and hard work,
who sees us for our potentials and values,
and love us for our quirky personalities and weird sense of humor.
You get it, right? Always stay true to yourself.
Be radiant even if you’re not the prettiest person in the room, because a cool personality is also sexy, and life is too short to be spent worrying over our looks.
Disclaimer: I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take care of our bodies. We should still maintain a healthy lifestyle and perform self-care to be comfortable in our own skin. Just stop obsessing over unrealistic beauty standards and losing yourself along the way.